Listen Up: Wednesday, September 12, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Blasters

Trouble Bound (Hightone Records)

By Ken Shimamoto

It seems incredible that it’s been more than 20 years since the Blasters first exploded out of the same punk-dominated L.A. scene that also somehow produced those other great roots-rockers Los Lobos. And while the Blasters never managed to garner the mainstream success that David Hidalgo and Cesar Rojas’ crew did in the mid-1980s, guitarist and main writer Dave Alvin has stayed the course and continued making uncompromising roots-oriented music, releasing nine solo albums since leaving the band in 1987. His brother, frontman Phil, kept the Blasters going intermittently with other guitarists, in between pursuing advanced degrees in mathematics.

Earlier this year, the original Blasters reunited for a series of dates at House of Blues in L.A. and from the sound of Trouble Bound, they were in fine form. The Blasters work in the territory where the strands of rock ’n’ roll, rockabilly, blues, and New Orleans R&B intertwine. (The album’s dedicated to their late mentor, New Orleans tenor sax titan Lee Allen.) They’re saturated with the classic forms, but not overly reverential of them, using the familiar materials as starting points for their own statements rather than just regurgitating old ones.

Phil Alvin is one of the few humans on Earth who could sing an Elvis homage like the title track or “Help You Dream” in 2002 without sounding ridiculous, and Gene Taylor plays some badass boogie-woogie piano. Dave Alvin plays slashing guitar but wields an even sharper pen. Check out “Common Man,” which indicts the insincerity of a politico. His classics “Long White Cadillac” (covered famously by Dwight Yoakam), “American Music,” and “Marie Marie” are reprised here, too. And then there are the well-chosen covers, including tunes by Junior Parker, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Billy Boy Arnold, and Sonny Burgess. Imbibe heavily and play loud.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions